Dealer displays firearms for sale at a gun show in Kansas City

Gun purchasers set new record in December: FBI

by Reuters  |  published on January 1, 2013

The number of FBI background checks required for Americans buying guns set a record in December, as the Connecticut school massacre stirred interest in self-defense and prompted renewed talk of limits on firearms, according to FBI data.

The FBI said it recorded 2.8 million background checks during the month, surpassing the mark set in November of 2 million checks. The number was up 49 percent over December 2011, when the FBI performed a then-record 1.9 million checks.

Consumer demand for guns appears to have accounted for the uptick in activity. There were no changes in FBI background check procedures that would have affected the December numbers, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said.

However, December is typically the busiest month of the year for checks, due in part to Christmas gift sales.

The figures do not represent the number of firearms sold, a statistic the government does not track. They also do not reflect activity between private parties, such as family members or collectors, because federal law requires background checks only for sales from commercial vendors with a federal license.

Someone who passes a background check is eligible to buy multiple firearms.

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